Customer experience: What's holding us back?

Is your contact center delivering a better customer experience than your competitors? If not, then what's the best way to transform your fortunes with a single approach?

As organizations become more customer-centric, the contact center has become pivotal in building personalisation, loyalty and sales. The trouble is, a traditional approach to managing the customer experience just doesn't work any more. Customer expectations today can easily outstrip whatever your agents, channels and systems can aim to deliver.

When things start to go wrong, the symptoms can spill out into executive meetings, like this...

The CEO kicks off the meeting...

"We've set some ambitious targets for sales this year. So how are we doing?"

The Head of Sales responds: "We're doing OK but it could be a lot better. We want our customers to buy more of our products. But our agents just don't know enough about each customer to cross sell and upsell when people call. Carts are getting abandoned too often on our website. We need to find ways to intervene to save sales."

The Head of Customer Care steps in...

"I know for a fact we're delivering better care than ever before. But customers are benchmarking us against the leading brands out there — and complaining when we fail to match them. If any problems arise, then people threaten to trash us on social media. They think they've got all the power."

The Contact Centre Manager explains more about this: "We're fire-fighting on social media to be honest. We still get the emails and the angry caller — but it's getting tougher to please people. My agents are working flat-out, trying to spot issues and resolve them ... in calls, emails and letters too.

But we can't do it fast enough. The team has to switch between three different screens. The idea that we can provide 24/7 care is a noble one but it seems like light years away."

The Head of IT feels under fire...

"My team keeps things stable and our uptime is good. OK, so I appreciate there's not much integration between systems — and we'd like to add new channels easily — but we don't have the budget. Projects like that can take months too and divert us from other programmes that business is demanding. We can't do everything!"

Now the Finance Director interjects: "We don't have budget for another major IT investment right now. Our contact centre systems aren't that old, after all. Can't we get some more life out of them? We all want to improve the customer experience but we've got to do this at the lowest possible cost to maintain profitability."

The Head of IT Security chips in: "I know that no-one likes talking about the risk of data breaches. But we need to stay PCI DSS compliant to take card payments on our current channels and any new ones we add. Security can't be an after-thought. If it is, we'll come unstuck badly."

Does any of this sound familiar?

If so, then it's time to download your free copy of the Customer Experience eGuide. It's refreshingly honest about the multiple problems organizations face today. But the guide is also crystal clear about how to transform your service levels dramatically and how to add new channels without ripping and replacing your IT.

You'll find answers to questions like: What do customers really want? What if our current tech is far from ideal? And how do we start to turn things around?

The answers really matter. Last year, Deloitte reported that 85% of organizations surveyed view the customer experience provided through the contact center as a competitive differentiator. And West Corp found that 92% of organizations say customer experience can be linked to revenue.

Here's that link again to get your copy of the Customer Experience eGuide.

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Posted by eckoh at 3:26 PM on Apr 10, 2018

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